| || |
| || |
Revision as of 10:50, 14 October 2011
Kuranda  is a small town in Far North Queensland adjoining the Barron Gorge National Park. As it is located very close to Cairns and the journey is scenic, it is an extremely popular day trip: the village is overflowing with visitors during the middle of each day.
- Drive from Cairns via the Captain Cook and Kennedy Highways. The trip takes approximately 40 minutes.
- Hop on the Kuranda Scenic Railway  for a (very) leisurely one- and a half hour trip 329 meters up and 34 kilometers out from Cairns. Two services daily in each direction. One-way $39, return $56, reservations recommended. Child and family rates do apply. Services depart from Cairns Central Station, close to the centre of Cairns.
- Catch the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway . This is a gondola ride through the rainforest treetops, with a couple of stops on route to change cars. Great views of the rainforest canopy. One-way is $39 adults and $19.50 children, return is $56 adults and $28 children. The base station is around 15km north of Cairns, probably around half-way to Kuranda. Transfers from both Cairns, Cairns Beaches and Port Douglas are available. [email protected] The local buses service the skyrail base station from Cairns every hour or so. 
- Catch the the shuttle bus  between Cairns and Kuranda ($4 one way). There are two bus companies that run scheduled bus services between Cairns and Kuranda. If you just want to get to Kuranda they will save you time and money over the scenic alternatives. Information about the shuttles is available from the Kuranda Visitor Information Centre . E-mail: [email protected]. Tel.: 07 4093 9311 .
You can combine the Kuranda Scenic railway and the skyrail, travelling to Kuranda on one and returning on the other. From the scenery point of view, take the railway first in the morning and after that make the skyrail trip - take your time to stop and look around in the Rainforestation  on the way back to the coast. After arriving at the coast side (great views), you have the opportunity to visit the Tjapukai village to learn something about the Aborigine culture. You can to book both directions through either service, but if you are booking late, it is easier to book separately: they allocate each other a very small number of guaranteed seats.
If you want to do the round trip with the skyrail and the train and don't feel like coordinating with local buses, there are a number of tour companies that package that journey for you, including tickets and transfers.
Kuranda is a small village, although somewhat hilly. Walking about 1km will take you from one end of town to the other. Don't count on being able to walk quickly, as the streets tend to be packed with people.
A one-way courtesy bus between the skyrail and scenic railway stations at the south end of town and the wildlife attractions at the north of town. The bus departs every twenty minutes.
- Birdworld , Heritage Markets, Rob Vievers Drive. tel 07 4093 9188. email [email protected] Birdworld is a large mesh canopy, open to natural light in which you can wander among free flying birds armed with an identification sheet to pick them out. The birds are divided evenly between colourful parrots and drab quails and doves with the addition of some cassowaries fenced away from people wandering around the circuit. Entry is $14 for adults, $5 children and $29 for families with two adults and 2 children. A combined pass with the butterfly sanctuary and the Koala Gardens is $33 adults and $16 children.
- Kuranda Koala Gardens , Heritage Markets, Rob Vievers Drive. tel 07 4093 9953. email [email protected] The Koala Gardens is a small wildlife zoo housing Australian native animals. In addition to koalas there are kangaroos, crocodiles, snakes and lizards. Visitors can hold a koala and have their picture taken. Entry is $14 for adults, $7 for children. Photo holding a koala will be an extra $15. The kangaroos and wallabies are tame and friendly and you can grab a free handful or two of feed at the entrance to their lawn.
- Australian Butterfly Sanctuary , 8 Rob Vievers Drive. tel 07 4093 7575. fax 07 4093 8923. email [email protected] The butterfly sanctuary is an aviary containing rainforest butterflies - Birdwings Ulysees and more, its great for Kids. Open 9:45AM to 4:30PM, with guided tours from 10:00 to 3:15PM. Wear bright colored clothing to get the butterflies to land on you.
- Rainforestation Nature Park, Kennedy Highway, ☎ +617 4085 5008, . This award-winning attraction is situated five minutes from Kuranda Village. Experience the tropical rainforest on both land and water aboard an amphibious World War II Army Duck. Learn about aboriginal culture with the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, including a traditional dance performance and boomerang throwing, spear throwing and didgeridoo playing. See native Australian animals including kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, wombats, dingoes and the cassowary.
- Barron Gorge. Amazing waterfall-carved gorge 3 km from town. The waterfall is a trickle in the dry season jumping to a torrent in the floods. The road makes a good bushwalk for those with time. Oddly missing from many guidebooks, or understated.
- Honey House Kuranda, 7 Therwine Street, ☎ 0740-937261, . 9-3.30. Established in 1959, Honey House Kuranda continues to offer tourists the chance to see live bees working hard to make honey and to sample over 20 North Qld premium raw honey varieties. There is also fresh honeycomb, medicinal honeys and beauty products all made with the highest quality honey. free.
Kuranda is famous for its markets. They run everyday and have a wide range of crafts and locally made products. It's just a short walk from the Skyrail or the Kuranda Scenic Railway station to the village.
The shops and markets open from 9.00AM and many close when the last train leaves at 3.30PM
The Original Rainforest Markets are located in Therwine Street behind the famous Honey House.(see listing above)
There is no shortage of cafe style places in Kuranda. Wander around and choose one that takes your fancy. Take-away food is also plentiful, in many different styles.
- Frogs Restaurant, 11 Coondoo Street (Slap bang in the middle of the village), ☎ 0740937405, . 10am - 4 pm. One of the original buildings in the village centre built 1923 Frogs has been operating since 1980. A great laid back spot with lots of atmosphere
Try the "Bottom Pub" just near Skyrail for a bit of local atmosphere - not bad
- Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve is located 10 mins drive west of Kuranda. Here you can view lions, tigers, bears, hippos, babboons.